Frisians and Festa: The European Capitals of Culture 2018

Two countries, two cities - Valetta and Leeuwarden-Fryslân - during 2018 they both hold the title European Capital of Culture. The opening celebrations take place in January 2018.

Celebrate through the festa

Valetta will not only be the capital of Malta in 2018, but it will also jointly hold the title of European Capital of Culture. The city’s residents will be celebrating island life through the festa; a traditional Maltese event where families, friends and communities meet to rejoice in their cultural heritage.

The people of Valletta will come together as a community, accompanied by music, acrobatics, contemporary dance, digital projections, video art, choral symphony and much more. The European Capital of Culture 2018 celebrations begin on January the 14th, culminating in the opening ceremony on the 20th of January, during which Valletta will officially receive this prestigious title. Read more about Valletta, European Capital of Culture 2018


Frisian way of life

Nearly 3,000 kilometres north of Valletta, celebrations are also beginning in the town of Leeuwarden-Fryslân in the Netherlands. The second European Capital of Culture of 2018 will be inaugurated on Friday the 26th of January with all primary school classes singing a song composed exclusively for this occasion to honour the Frisian way of life.

The opening weekend will then proceed with flash mobs, choirs, fanfares, stories, orchestras and brass bands to showcase the theme of ‘Iepen mienskip’, or a sense of open community. The theme will be taken very literally by the town’s museums, village houses, collectors and cafes, all of whom will be opening their doors to welcome the public. Organised by the Leeuwarden-based theatre company, Tryater, the opening weekend will be an impressive tribute to the town and its traditions. Read more about Leeuwarden-Fryslân, European Capital of Culture 2018